PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Placer Valley Tourism is thrilled to be teaming up with Capital Thunder Youth Hockey to bring the inaugural Capital Classic Hockey Tournament to Skatetown Ice Arena in Roseville over Memorial Day Weekend. 

Youth hockey teams from throughout the state will be coming to compete from May 26 to 28.  The tournament has a four game guarantee for all teams and will showcase four age divisions for players 9 to 18 years old. 

"Visiting teams from a number of different cities in California including Santa Rosa, Fresno and Lake Tahoe as well as our local teams will be participate in our first ever Capital Classic," explained Capital Thunder's Tournament Director Frank Ligas. 

"We are so excited to be hosting this tournament at Skatetown," added Ligas.  "Ice Hockey is one of the fastest growing youth sports in the country and Capital Thunder would like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about the game to come see these kids play over Memorial Day Weekend." 

Games will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 and continue throughout the day.  Sunday, May 27 teams will return to the ice at 9 a.m. and battle it out all day again. The top two high school teams will play the championship game at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, May 28 to see who gets crowned champion of the Capital Classic!  

There is no fee for spectators and concessions are available to purchase on-site. Mark your calendars and come on down to Skatetown at 1009 Orlando Ave in Roseville to catch the intense action on the ice!  

Bumgarner Expected to Make Rehab Start Saturday in Sacramento

By Sacramento River Cats  |  2018-05-23

Photo by Barry Sibert

San Francisco Giants’ Ace is Scheduled to Begin Rehabbing His Broken Left Pinky Finger

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Four-time All-Star, three-time World Champion, and 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner is expected join the Sacramento River Cats Saturday, May 26 as he begins his Major League rehab assignment. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to start Saturday night as the River Cats host the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Bumgarner is rehabbing a broken pinky finger on his left hand, an injury he sustained when he was struck by a comebacker in a Spring Training game on March 23. As part of his rehab, Bumgarner threw a batting practice session this weekend at AT&T Park in San Francisco and threw a simulated game to Giants hitters on Tuesday in Houston. The lefty is expected throw about 45 pitches on Saturday, and make at least two starts before rejoining the Giants’ rotation.

The 28-year-old was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round (10th overall) of the MLB June Amateur Draft in 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 8, 2009 and was a key contributor in the Giants’ 2010 Postseason run. Bumgarner made history during the 2014 Postseason, throwing a record-setting 52.2 innings, including a historic five-inning save in Game 7 to clinch the Championship for San Francisco.

Bumgarner’s rehab assignment in Sacramento is scheduled to begin this Saturday, May 26 as the River Cats host the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes at Raley Field. First pitch is 7:07 p.m. and gates will open at 5:00 p.m. Tickets and ticket packages are still available at rivercats.com. For more information, please call 916.371.HITS (4487) or visit rivercats.com.

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SMUD, CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

By SMUD  |  2018-05-22

Some of the 10,000 pounds of trout being delivered to Union Valley Reservoir while a television news photographer shoots video. This is the fourth of 50 summers SMUD and CDFW will stock three Crystal Basin Recreation Area reservoirs with at least 25,000 pounds of fish. The fish stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its federal license to operate its Upper American River Project hydroelectric facilities. Photo courtesy SMUD

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting will run through August with 25,000 pounds of fish stocked into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. The amount of fish stocked can number as high as 50,000 pounds in a given year, depending on matched stocking by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is the fourth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.

The trout planting is intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. According to surveys, fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, with a handful of trophy fish included. This year SMUD is working with the owners of the Ice House Resort to install a board where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs.  The “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” will offer anglers the opportunity to show off a photo of any catch they think is worthy. A scale will be made available as well if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest fish bragging rights. 

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.

In 2014, SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings from June through August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 10,000 pounds; Ice House, 8,750 pounds; and, Loon Lake, 6,250 pounds. The fish provided by SMUD will come from Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts the very popular Trout Derby.

Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

For more information about UARP and associated projects as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit smud.org and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) -  Seven Sacramento area museums will participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families starting the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 26) and continuing through Labor Day (September 3), 2018. The seven local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum.

This year’s participating Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, zoos, nature centers and children’s museums. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.  
 
Before planning a visit, please contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.
 
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 2018 through Labor Day, September 3, 2018. The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as Active Duty and Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.
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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Last week was National Infrastructure Week, but there were no parades or celebrations of America’s infrastructure system this year. The truth is, we’re lagging far behind where we should be, and we must do something about it. Rural America faces many unique infrastructure challenges. Dilapidated roads, crumbling bridges, and battered levees and dams litter the country from coast to coast, and Northern California is no exception.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States “infrastructure gap,” which refers to the amount of money required to meet our nation’s infrastructure needs, is estimated to be above $2 trillion. This gap is even more exaggerated in rural areas, like Northern California, where funding is much more difficult to come by.

Urban areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco will always be able to find additional funding from a variety of sources. In Modoc or Siskiyou County, where 50,000 people live in an area the size of Massachusetts, it’s not enough to simply pump more money into the system. We also need to stretch every dollar as far as possible.

California has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the country – far stricter than federal laws, in fact. While I’ve questioned the necessity for many of these laws, that’s a conversation for another day. In order to receive authorization to proceed with a project, counties must jump through numerous, duplicative regulatory hoops from multiple agencies on both the federal and state level. That makes no sense.

Let’s put it this way – if California requires you to run at least 70 yards, and the federal government requires you to run at least 50 yards, wouldn’t it make the most sense to run just the 70 yards and call it a day?  Under our current process, we’re running 120 yards, wasting time and money with no benefit to the environment.

Smaller, rural counties don’t have the financial flexibility to navigate the maze of federal bureaucracies and red tape. Local agencies have also proven to be far more efficient with these projects, saving both time and money compared to federal estimates.

Take the example of the Feather River West Levee Project in my district. The original total cost was estimated to be $689 million – $255 million from the federal government and $434 million from the state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowed our local agency, the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, to complete the project mostly on their own, and the savings were massive. The project is set to be completed 6 years ahead of schedule for a total cost of only $376 million – nearly half the price. Despite the local government taking on a higher percentage of the total cost, they still saved $107 million, while the federal government saved $206 million. These results speak for themselves.

There are solutions we can and should pursue. In 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, gave states more authority to conduct their own environmental reviews for highway and transit projects. The President’s own infrastructure proposal seeks to broaden this same authority for all infrastructure projects. Not only would this significantly speed up the permitting process, but it entrusts states to make decisions that are in their own best interests.

Earlier this year, the President also published a Memorandum of Understanding that would implement what’s called the “One Federal Decision” policy. This means instead of requiring each relevant agency to publish their own statements and reviews, it would identify one lead agency to coordinate the project and consolidate these steps. It’s about time. This is a common sense initiative that gives our rural counties a map for the labyrinth of federal regulations.

These are basic, bipartisan reforms that we need to make in order to truly modernize America’s infrastructure. For rural communities across America, streamlining this overcomplicated permitting process can stretch our dollars further, and it can help bring our infrastructure up to date in a timely manner that meets the expectations of the people.

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Railroad Museum to Dazzle & Delight during a “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day Weekend

By T-Rock Communications  |  2018-05-21

About the California State Railroad Museum Foundation
The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation have exciting plans to dazzle and delight visitors with a special “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day weekend - Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, 2018. 
 
This family-favorite small train extravaganza showcases a magical assortment of trains, hundreds of feet of track and an array of buildings and accessories. For the “BIG Weekend of Small Trains,” local organizations and devoted enthusiasts will set up shop in the Museum, filling the Roundhouse with delightful model and toy train layouts of every description while being surrounded by impressive full-scale locomotives. Visitors of all ages will marvel at the variety of locomotives that pull pretend passengers and scaled-down shipments through all kinds of scenery, whether modeled on real places or created in the imaginations of the collectors.
 
“BIG Weekend of Small Trains” visitors are also encouraged to explore the Museum that is home to 225,000 square feet of exhibits and beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives that illustrate railroad history in California and the West.
 
All “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” activities are included with Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about this special event or the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/
 
Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at info@parks.ca.gov or via RSS feed.
 
California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.
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New Mental Health Program Targets Pre-teens

By Sac County News  |  2018-05-17

​​SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has awarded Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services more than $2 million dollars in grant funding as part of Senate Bill (SB) 82 Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act third round crisis triage grant funds. ​

Sacramento is one of 11 counties to receive this third round grant funding aimed at increasing mental health services in schools for youth ages 11-14 years. 

“As we continue to build out our services continuum, we are including more services targeted at youth,” says Uma Zykofsky, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director. 

This funding will allow Sacramento County to position three, two-person mental health service teams in three targeted middle school campuses within Sacramento County. Sacramento County’s Children and Youth Crisis Service Needs Assessment revealed gaps in the existing service continuum on school campuses for students, including a lack of awareness of mental health issues for children and crisis services. This program aims to​ close these identified gaps. 

The new program, Safe Zone Squad, will consist of a Youth Advocate Mental Health Worker and a Mental Health Counselor. Each team will have designated and consistent office hours to support walk-in crisis needs and to create a dependable presence. Each middle school campus will have a dedicated team so that students see the same team members throughout their days. The teams will work with students, faculty and parents to help demystify and destigmatize mental illness, provide education on managing escalating stress and learning how to identify and help someone who is distressed. 

"This grant is very important to Sacramento County. We are making great strides in creating a more complete responsive continuum of care for our community,” adds Zykofsky. “This grant helps bring education and behavioral health services together."

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The Force Holding Animal Abusers Accountable

By Sac County News  |  2018-05-16

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Animal abuse, neglect and cruelty is more prevalent in our region than most people know. Local animal regulation agencies work cases every day, pulling animals out of precarious living conditions or caring for animals that were victims of abuse or neglect. 

One of the most popular recent situations was the puppy Thomas, found on the side of the road – clearly injured. X-rays showed he had been struck in the skull with a blunt object, shattering his skull causing severe injury to his head and eyes. 

The Bradshaw Animal Shelter, where Thomas was brought by a kind citizen after finding him, immediately began lifesaving treatment to manage his pain and treat the infection spreading in his body. Meanwhile, the shelter went public with Thomas’s story – asking for any information about Thomas. No one came forward with information and Thomas’s abuse/cruelty case is still unsolved. 

The good news is that through the generosity of the shelter’s non-profit, T.E.A.M. (Teaching everyone Animals Matter), Thomas was able to get brain surgery and is now living a nearly normal life. 

Thomas is just one example of hundreds the area animal shelters see every year. Because of the serious nature of the crimes seen, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office launched an Animal Cruelty Task Force – comprised of representatives from each animal shelter in Sacramento County and the Sheriff and Police Departments. ​

Together, these agencies are working to identify, investigate and prosecute those responsible for abuse, neglect and cruelty to animals. Research shows that the link between animal abuse and crimes committed against persons is strong. Often, animal abuse is a gateway to crimes against humanity. With the help of the task force, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley is looking to put a stop to this progressively violent behavior. 

Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley on why she felt this task force collaborative was critical:

“For too many years in Sacramento it has been the worst of scenarios for animals.  Prosecution relies on both law enforcement and animal control to make animal abuse investigation more of a priority within their agencies.​

Law Enforcement more often than not, doesn’t receive training in animal abuse.  Like any other crime, animal abuse constitutes violations of the Penal Code and law enforcement is responsible for investigating them.  ​

At the same time Animal Control agencies have lacked training their officers as investigators.  The officers all need to develop the ability to take statements, write reports and understand their responsibilities to develop and investigate cases.  Our community expects that both animal care and law enforcement officers are performing their duties so that violators are accountable.  

We have formed the task force to unite these agencies, share successes and learn from failures.  Many on the force share an affinity for animals.  We can only improve by communication, working together and joining all forces.”

 

The Animal Cruelty Task Force is just one example of progressive collaboration efforts across County agencies and across jurisdictional lines – all with the goal of creating a Sacramento Countywe all love. 

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Kings Draw Second Pick in NBA Draft Lottery

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-05-16

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - In what will be arguably the most important draft in Sacramento Kings history, the odds have already bounced in their favor. They made the biggest jump in Tuesday night’s lottery, moving all the way from the projected seventh overall pick to the second slot behind the tank-happy Phoenix Suns. It is the first time in the modern lottery era that the kings have held a top three pick.

But with a long, dismal history of draft selections recently highlighted by Jimmer Fredette, Thomas Robinson, Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas, does it even matter at all? For what it’s worth, this is a deep draft class headlined by Deandre Ayton out of Arizona, Luka Doncic out of Real Madrid, Jaren Jackson out of Michigan State, Marvin Bagley III out of Duke and Trae Young out of Oklahoma, to name a few. The talent is definitely there.

The Suns appeared to have their sights set on Ayton all season long as they gloriously tanked. He looks ready to make an immediate impact in the league and keeping him in the state of Arizona makes sense. However, Suns new head coach, Igor Kokoskov, was Doncic's head coach when he won the 2017 EuroBasket title and is big on his guy. This may change things in the Kings’ favor yet again heading into the draft.

The Kings have a lot of options, but if Ayton fell to the number two pick Sacramento would have no choice but to take him. The 7’0”, 260 pound, 19-year-old averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his freshman year. “Elite physical tools, soft touch at the rim and a promising jump shot make Ayton the likely top pick,” according to SI’s latest Top 100 Prospect Rankings. “His sheer size and strength presents a matchup problem for most any defender, and he may be the most athletic 7-foot prospect to come along this decade.”

Ayton would be a no brainer for Sacramento, as it is extremely rare to find a 7-footer with his arsenal. But it surely won’t be that easy, it never is for a Kings organization that hasn’t reached the playoffs or finished with a winning record since 2005-2006.

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American Heart Association Collaborates to Create Healthier Environments for Children in Early Child Care

By American Heart Association  |  2018-05-15

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Several child care and children’s organizations in California have collaborated with the American Heart Association (AHA) and joined the fight to create healthier environments for children by supporting funding allocation for programs that follow well researched healthy early care standards.

Currently, there is no state funding allocated for child care providers who wish to implement healthy early care standards. Thirty-three percent of providers stated they did not have enough money to make the healthy changes they wished to incorporate in their site.

AHA wants California to establish funding for dedicated technical assistance and grant opportunities for child care providers in low-income communities to implement healthy activities such as healthy eating, physical activity, and screen time limitations in their center or home.

“Early childhood programs can establish healthy habits for preschoolers like less screen time and more physical activities, which in turn will improve health outcomes,” stressed Jessica Sims, MD, Board Member, American Heart Association Los Angeles and Regional Medical Director, AltaMed Health Services. “Child care providers want to provide healthy environments for children, and they must be supported with resources. This is the opportunity,” Sims added.

With 433,000 California children spending a large part of their day in early care and education programs, such as Head Start, child care, Early Head Start or pre-kindergarten, many child care providers know the importance of caring for children properly and creating and reinforcing healthy habits.

Providers and parents want standards that will help all children grow up at a healthy weight. They want kids to:

  • Have access to healthy meals and snacks full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains;
  • Be served more water or milk instead of sugary drinks like fruit drinks, sports drinks, soda, and sweetened waters;
  • Be physically active; and
  • Limit time spent watching TV or in front of a computer or tablet. 

Quality early care education can help shrink the achievement gap, improve health outcomes, and increase lifetime earnings. To learn more, go to http://www.heart.org/HealthyECE.

About American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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